The Griffin Poetry Prize Announces the 2005 Canadian and International Shortlist

Griffin Poetry Prize Award increased to C$100,000
Two winning poets to accompany the Griffin Poetry Prize team to Ireland to appear at the Dublin Writers Festival

TORONTO, April 6, 2005 – The Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist for 2005 was announced today by Scott Griffin, and David Young, Trustees of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry. The C$100,000 Griffin Poetry Prize (increased this year from C$80,000) is the most lucrative prize to accept books of poetry from any country in the world – exemplifying the international spirit of poetry. The prize is awarded annually for the two best books of poetry (including translations) published in English the previous year.

A record-breaking 433 eligible books from 17 different countries, translated from 8 different languages, were submitted for 2005. The seven finalists – three Canadian and four International – will be invited to read in Toronto at the MacMillan Theatre on June 1st. The winners, who each receive C$50,000, will be announced on June 2nd at the fifth Griffin Poetry Prize awards event.

Canadian Shortlist

Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida • Roo Borson
McClelland and Stewart Ltd.

Changing on the Fly • George Bowering
Polestar/Raincoast Books

Camber • Don McKay
McClelland and Stewart Ltd.

International Shortlist

On the Ground • Fanny Howe
Graywolf Press

Corpus • Michael Symmons Roberts
Jonathan Cape

A Green Light • Matthew Rohrer
Verse Press

Selected Poems: 1963-2003 • Charles Simic
Faber and Faber

The judges for 2005 are the distinguished poets Simon Armitage (United Kingdom), Erin Moure (Canada) and Tomaz Salamun (Slovenia).

Moure was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2002 and is the editor of the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology, a selection of poems from the shortlisted books, published by House of Anansi Press Inc. Royalties from the Anthology are donated to UNESCO’s World Poetry Day.

Following the Awards, the Canadian and International winners will accompany a Griffin team – including Carolyn Forché, Scott Griffin, Robin Robertson, David Young, Leslie Greentree, David Kirby and Gerald Stern – to Ireland to participate in readings and celebrations for the 2005 Dublin Writers Festival on June 16th and 17th. The trip to Dublin is part of the vision Scott Griffin sees for bringing the Griffin Poetry Prize and prize winners to an increasingly international audience.

The Griffin Poetry Prize was launched in September, 2000 by Trustees Margaret Atwood, Scott Griffin, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson and David Young. Most recently, Carolyn Forché has joined the group of Trustees who each year selected the judges for the Griffin Poetry Prize.

The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry was created to serve and encourage poetry written in English anywhere in the world. Eligible collections of poetry, including translations, must be submitted by publishers in the calendar year of their publication.

Tickets for the Readings to be held on June 1st at the MacMillan Theatre are available at or by calling 905 565 5993.

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Note: The publishers mentioned in our release are those who submitted the books.

Note to booksellers: Griffin Poetry Prize Shortlist bookmarks, posters and stickers are supplied free of charge by The Griffin Trust. Click here to access our order form. Winner stickers will be available after June 2nd.

Please direct other inquiries as follows:

Press and Publicity

Jane Wilson, Publicity Director

General Inquiries

Ruth Smith, Manager

Submitting Publishers’ Web sites:

Graywolf Press

Jonathan Cape

Polestar/Raincoast Books

Faber and Faber

Verse Press

McClelland and Stewart Ltd.

Shortlist summary, poet bios and citations

Download press release | Download photos

Purchase 2005 Griffin Prize Anthology and shortlist books online

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